N. Korea Unveils New Airport, Architect Likely Executed

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North Korea
North Korea

This past week, the official news agency of North Korea unveiled it’s new international airport.  The shiny new hub will be hosting flights mainly from China and Russia.  The airport has been the source of international scrutiny, mainly because it is believed that the architect was murdered by the North Korean government last year.

The International Business Times [1] reports:

The state-run Korean Central News Agency published a 30-photo slide show Thursday of Kim Jong Un and his wife touring a two story international terminal in Pyongyang’s airport. It’s the latest appeal to potential tourists since Kim ascended to power in North Korea three years ago, featuring a jewelry store, coffee bar, a pharmacy, a chocolate fountain and other luxury amenities. The new transportation hub is scheduled to open July 1, the Los Angeles Times reported [2], and will primarily accept flights from China and Russia.

Ma Won Chun, who was North Korea’s director of the Designing Department of the National Defense Commission until his disappearance last year [3], was noticeably absent from the press photos. Chun was the chief architect behind North Korea’s biggest government projects when he, along with five other high-level officials, were reportedly killed during one of Kim’s attempts to consolidate power [4]. Ma was executed in November 2014 “for corrupt practices and failure to follow orders,” according to the Diplomat [5], a news outlet that covers the Asia Pacific.

His death coincided with a report from NKNews.com [6] explaining that airport renovations were being suspended because of Kim’s dissatisfaction.

“Defects were manifested in the last phase of the construction of the Terminal 2 because the designers failed to bear in mind the party’s idea of architectural beauty that is the life and soul and core in architecture to preserve the Juche character and national identity,” Kim said, according to NKNews’ transcript of a state media report. “It is necessary to finish the construction of the terminal to be an icon of [North] Korea, the face of the country and the gateway to Pyongyang.”



[1] http://www.ibtimes.com/north-korea-leader-kim-jong-un-likely-executed-architect-unveiling-shiny-new-1986785?rel=most_read1

[2] http://www.latimes.com/world/asia/la-fg-north-korea-new-airport-20150625-story.html

[3] http://www.ibtimes.com/kim-jong-uns-cheese-eating-smoking-habits-would-contribute-gout-1695959

[4] http://www.ibtimes.com/kim-jong-un-limps-across-stage-rare-video-depicting-north-korean-leaders-weakness-1621890

[5] http://thediplomat.com/2015/02/kim-jong-un-executes-senior-kpa-general/

[6] http://www.nknews.org/2014/11/kim-jong-un-unhappy-with-construction-of-new-airport-terminal/

Royce Christyn
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